Mitch said, “I am restless, Dr. Bob. I wake up in the middle of the night and am wide awake. What could be happening with me?”
“Do you get physical exercise?” I asked.
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“Three times a week to the gym, each time about an hour and a half in aerobics and resistance training. Pleasantly tired when finished each time,” Mitch said.
Mitch did look physically fit. He was medium height with a solid build. Perhaps he was thirty five.
“Everything O.K. at home?”
“I am not aware of any major problems. Oh, the small things with work and kids. Nothing to keep me awake that I am aware of.”
He looked at me. I looked at him. I took a shot in the dark. “When was the last time you expressed yourself?” I asked.
Mitch asked in return, “Expressed myself? I don’t get what you mean, Dr. Bob.”
“I mean when was the last time you wrote a love poem to your wife? When was the last time you made up a bedtime story for your three kids? When was the last time you air-directed a symphony orchestra?”
“Whoa,” he said. “Where are you going with this?”
“I am not sure, just a hunch. But what about the answers to my questions?”
Mitch thought for about 20 seconds and then said, “I haven’t done any of those things in a long time. I still don’t know where you are going with this.”
“We all have spirits that need expression, Mitch. If we don’t exercise that expression, those spirits become restless. Some people just go along until their spirits become dull and empty, no longer asking to participate in life. Sometimes this non-participation leads to restlessness. Awake at odd hours. No forward life-progress. Sounds like maybe you have this affliction.”
“Affliction? You mean I am sick?” asked Mitch.
“No. I mean that live was meant to be lived. To be happy is to know you are alive by trying to expand your life. By trying to change. By trying to grow. Life is overcoming obstacles or dangers. Life is getting out of your comfort zone. Sound interesting?”
Mitch developed a small smile with his lips and eyes. Maybe I had hit a resonating chord within him. It was only a guess. It was a place to start.
“You think I am restless and can’t sleep well because I haven’t expressed my spirit enough?” he asked.
“I think it a real possibility. When was the last time you took some time and did express the fact that you are happy to be alive?”
His smile grew wider. “I can’t remember. I used to invent stories for the kids all the time. How did you know I air-directed symphonies? I can’t remember the last time I pushed the walls of my comfort zone in any way. Wow.”
“All of us need to embrace our lives and take every opportunity to expand them through the expression of happiness. The Very Spirit of the Universe seeks to express itself through you and your reaching beyond the ordinary.”
“My fidgetiness may be because I haven’t told my kids stories recently? That simple,” Mitch asked.
“Well, not quite that simple,” I said. “But making up stories is a way of giving tongue to your spirit. It can be gardening, photography, videography, learning a new language, Tai Chi, skydiving, lifting the next heavier weight. Express yourself.”
Mitch said he would try my suggestions. I reminded him he was the best developer of his own spirit; he needed to think of his own ideas to fulfill his spirit. We made an appointment for two weeks in the future.
When Mitch came to see me again, I could tell immediately he was much more rested than when I had seen him last. He told me he was developing his spirit and was sleeping better. He felt happier as well, he said.
I bid him come again if he needed more. To this point, he is doing fine without further help, as far as I can see.
Dear reader: the Supreme Spirit seeks manifestation through you and your spirit. When you leave this aspect of your life unfulfilled, you will find yourself restless. The very phenomenon of being alive and happy is to participate in enlargement, variety and advancement. Do so beginning now.
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